An Alignment of Values

Ged Dipprey (left) with Linda Ward and Sam Vachon from Good Deed Real Estate Group

Ged Dipprey is an affable neighbor with a mind for real estate and a heart for members of The Well Community, who live with life-altering mental illnesses. Ged’s family, including his wife, Lori, and two children, have been supporters of The Well for several years. His business, the Good Deed Real Estate Group, which includes Oak Cliff residents Sam Vachon and Linda Ward, also partners financially with The Well. Continue reading

A Firsthand Understanding: Lessons About Mental Health During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We want to help you become more informed, not only about severe mental illnesses faced by our members, but also about how the stresses of COVID-19 can impact your mental health and what you can do about it.

While the mental health ramifications of COVID-19 make this pandemic a crisis in and of themselves, there is a benefit hidden within this monumental challenge: Our society as a whole is becoming more aware of mental health on a personal level and more open to talking about it. As a growing number of people wrestle with their mental health—some for the first time—our culture is gaining understanding of what those living with mental illnesses face day after day, year after year. Below are key lessons that will help shape the future of the conversation around mental health for the better. Continue reading

Mental Illness and Poverty: Magnifying Challenges in Times of Crisis

Health crises like the coronavirus pandemic impact us all. But, those who live with serious mental illnesses face unique challenges in times like this. Not only can uncertainty and fear trigger worsening of symptoms, but lack of access to things like healthy food, shelter and medical care can lead to a higher risk of illness.

The poverty faced by many who deal with life-altering mental health conditions plays a major role in magnifying the challenges of health crises. Below are several ways that those living with mental illnesses are especially impacted by lack of resources in times like these. Continue reading

Talking About Stigma With Michelle Staubach Grimes

Last year on World Mental Health Day, when Michelle Staubach Grimes, daughter of Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach and author of two popular children’s books, saw several people speaking out online about the difficulty of dealing with mental illness, she decided to do the same. It was an easy decision, she says, because she had little to lose, and she wanted to help normalize mental illness for the sake of those who are often stigmatized for it. While Michelle has struggled with mental health challenges since childhood—particularly acute anxiety and depression—until then she’d kept her struggles private. Continue reading

Serving The Well Through an Administrative Social Work Internship: Valencia Jefferson

Administrative social work intern Valencia with two Well Community members

Over and over, we see how internships at The Well Community truly benefit interns and members alike. University of Southern California Master of Social Work intern Valencia Jefferson has experienced these two-way rewards while attending to the behind-the-scenes tasks at The Well.

While working toward a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in administration at the University of Southern California (USC), Valencia Jefferson realized she would need to complete an internship before graduation. She asked her professors for a recommendation, and they pointed her in the direction of The Well Community, which had an opening for a graduate social work intern at the time. Valencia had grown up in the Dallas area, so spending a year in Oak Cliff seemed a good fit. She interviewed at The Well last spring, and for the past eight months has been working there as a graduate social work intern with an administrative focus. Continue reading

Internships at The Well: Benefiting Students and Members

Director Alice Zaccarello, Ericka Ruiz and Gemma Cardenas, with UTA interns

Program Coordinator Gemma Cardenas understands the benefits of The Well Community’s internship program firsthand, not only from her role in supervising the students who participate, but from her own time as an intern. “It gave me the opportunity to apply everything that I had learned at school,” she recalls, adding that serving at The Well was vastly different from merely hearing about mental health in a classroom. “I learned so much from being here, so much more than from a textbook. It gave me a lot of confidence as well.” Continue reading

Holiday Hurdles: Stressors and Pressures That Make the Season Difficult for Those Living With Mental Illnesses

holiday-challenges

Christmastime is a generally a season of joy, but for those living with mental illnesses, it can be laden with challenges. Many aspects of this time of year can make managing a mental health condition even more difficult. In the midst of the festivities, keep in mind these three ways that the Christmas season can be hard for those dealing with mental illnesses. Continue reading

A Well World: An Overflow of Gratitude

In this season, even more than usual, I see blessings at every turn. As many of us prepare for Thanksgiving feasts and begin to buy gifts to show appreciation for loved ones, gratitude is a prevailing theme, and this focus makes it even easier to see the many things for which we are deeply thankful.

As I reflect on the ways The Well has been blessed recently, I feel gratitude bubbling up inside me for the many who give their time and their resources so that those in our community who live with serious mental illnesses have reason to give thanks as well. Continue reading

Mental Illness, Prayer and Extravagant Grace

The following blog was written by friend of The Well Community, Catherine Downing, at the invitation of Amy Simpson (author of  Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission) and posted on Amy’s site October 2, 2017. It is written from the perspective of a family member of a loved one who lives with chronic mental health issues. Catherine describes one way her deep faith strengthens her in the journey. Continue reading